I think yesterday will go down as “ridiculous comment flame war of 2011” day.
My wife posted a very innocuous status about lacking motivation to leave the house. Although the reason why she lacked this motivation wasn’t stated, it was because it was cold outside. Leaving this crucial piece of information out was, apparently, the fatal flaw that lead to the further assassination of people’s character and sensibility when commenting online.
See: “history of the internet”. People seem to feel that it’s “OK” to say whatever the hell they want in whatever manner they wish when posting on the internet. Now that we have things like FaceBook and Twitter, where, we can let people into the most intimate details of our lives, we also give them ability to supply their opinions about said details whether we like it or not.
Some people are perfectly fine about this. There IS, in fact, a way to convey your opinion about something that is respectful and kind to your audience or intended recipient. There is also the complete and utter opposite of that, where it’s not necessarily the content of your posting that is wrong, more so, how you decide to release that nugget of information into the world. THIS kind of transference of information will leave your audience feeling no-so-great about you.
These kinds of interactions cause unkind words between groups of people that would NEVER normally interact. To boot, a conversation of this kind would almost NEVER occur if this were, say, a giant party where all of these same people were physically in the same room. I can say will 100% certainty that if we were all in the same room (physically) and my wife said in passing “Man, I really am finding it hard to leave the house today, even with new Yoga pants”, that the complete absurdity that occurred on her FaceBook wall yesterday would NOT happen. The inflated sense of self that people have online rarely manifests itself in the real world in the same person. It’s really easy to be a complete and utter douche nozzle when you are typing words on a screen and clicking a button. The act of delivering this information verbally would have a whole other set of checks and balances that would [hopefully] prevent this level of douchery in a real world conversation. Something to the affect of “hmm, maybe I shouldn’t say that” might run through your head and make you think twice about the impact of your words.
What is even worse, is when people meet in the “real world” after these kinds of interactions on a social network and nay a word is uttered regarding said interaction. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. It’s like running into a girl you had a one-night-stand with, left before she got up, and never called at a coffee shop. There seems to be this sort of unspoken agreement that “what happens on <SOCIAL NETWORK> stays on <SOCIAL NETWORK>”. It’s sort of understood that when we meet, we won’t talk about what you said, how you said it, what it conveys about YOU as a person, and how it makes me want to ban you from my life. No, we will just go on as normal, smile, say hello, and exchange formalities.
Absurd. And here I thought that we were mostly adults.
Fret not, my 4 readers. I have a solution for you! It’s called the “FaceBook Restricted List”. What is this, you ask? Well, it’s a list that FaceBook has now included with your other lists, but anyone that you put on it will ONLY be able to see what you PUBLICALLY post. I like to call this a “soft de-friend” because you aren’t actually de-friending the person, just well, making sure they don’t provide the garbage that’s in their head unless you publically post something for them to see. Here’s how to soft-defriend:
- Go to your lists. Find the “restricted list”. Add the offender.
- Go to your wall. Find their posts. Click the arrow in the top right corner. Hide their inane ramblings.
Remember that social networks will provide the experience that you tailor them to provide.
Why not just defriend the person, you ask? Well that’s a great question, voice in my head! Sometimes it would cause more social upset to defriend the offender. Soft defriending gives you the ability to shut them up on FaceBook without actually having to have that awkward face-to-face “why did you defriend me” talk. Perhaps you work with this person or see them at a place that you attend as a member and you’d like to keep things civil. Soft defriending lets you do this. They no longer get to see your posts, hence, can no longer comment on them and you get to not have conversations with your significant other every night about “what so-and-so posted on my status”. Win2.
Happy soshul netwerking, friends!